tv This Week in Defense CBS August 5, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
♪[ music ] welcome to this week in defense news, i'm vago muradian. as syria totters toward regime change, securing its chemical weapons becoming a critical concern. first, jobs and the threat of administration. top pentagon administration -- are being increasingly vocal about the damage those cuts would inflict on the u.s. military, and the u.s. economy. up to 2 million jobs are on the line, unless congress resolves the crisis by january 2. losing those high paying jobs
nows, as the economy struggles to regain its footing, could push the u.s. back into a recession. virginia's republican governor bob mcdonald was there along with three virginia congressmen representing both parties. after the rally, i caught up with wes bush, the chairman, ceo of northrup grum unled. i asked him what needs to happen to avoid sequestration. >> this could be avoided by congress coming together, and recognizing that this is an issue that they can solve. this is an issue that would have a devastating impact on our country. we need to compromise. i think the american people expect that of our congress. that we come together, we retch a compromise, and we keep this from happening. >> but from a time perspective, if you look at, we've got about 150 days before this happens. legislative calender, it's a very, very crowded day for
lawmakers. and while publicly, everybody says this can be solved, privately, there's an increasing view that it can't be solved. what specifically can be done in the last 150 days to convince them to listen, this is both a revenue increase, it's an in entitlement cut. >> time is getting short, and there is some thinking from time to time that there can be a solution on this, around the end of the year, and that will solve the problem, that's bad thinking. sequestration is having an impact today. today, companies are holding back on employment, companies are holding back on investment, because of the uncertainty that's been introduced by this irrational approach. how do we solve it? the way we've always reached compromises. first, we have to agree that we're going to put everything on the table, and we have to be honest about what the budgetary issues are. we have to look at them not only today. we have to be honest about the projections that we're seeing. there have been a variety of
ways that have been put forward. i don't want to suggest i have the greatest insight, but we're not going to get there if everyone takes a hardened position that it can only be done one way. there has to be a compromise there. >> meeting almost on a weekly basis. in those meetings, you know, what are you telling, what's the secretary telling you? >> those meetings have been a great opportunity to share perspectives on this. it's really important, of course for the department of defense and the defense industrial base to have a very clear and transparent relationship when it comes to planning for this type of potential impact. so a lot of this discussion has been around having clarity around the issues that we're dealing with, and secretary panetta, and the department ofntion e.officials have been clear about their concerns on this as well. a lot of this is simply sharing
perspective, so we don't surprise each other, as we're each thinking our way through this, and the other part of it also is of course talking about how we're approaching all of the constituencies that are involved in this, to make sure that we have accurate information. none of us want to be in a position where we're conveying inaccurate information in this. >> what's really important to have those? what about partial sequestering. $54billion or so to kick the can down the road. is that a viable option? >> i don't want to speculate on what might be deemed viable. i will tell you this, our nation needs to come together and solve it. simply kicking the can, i don't think is a good solution. i think we need a solution that the markets can rely on. companies can rely on to form their investment strategies that other governments around the globe can look at our country and say, yes they have their act together.
i'm reluctant to say the kick the can situation is a good outcome. if all else fails, i suppose that's where we'll be. but i think we're bigger than that. >> let me go to the notifications of potential layoffs. there have been companies talking about that issue. lockheed martin being one of them, but the department of labor says you don't have to issue war notifications at this point. there's so much regarding what sort of outcome is going to happen. do you agree with that, and does that have any bearing or change on your thanking at all? >> the warrant act is a law passed by congress, so it has the force of law, and we take it seriously. in fact, it is an act that we've had to use a number of times over the years, as we've made closing decisions, or other employment decisions. so we have a fair amount of experience with the warrant act. what we don't have experience with, nor do any others in our
industry is a interpretation of the warrant act. most of these will be judged on hindsight. we're making sure we make the best business judgment that we can. to make the best business judgment, you have to have all the facts, and we're going to make that when we need to make it at the time when we have those facts available to us. so we have not reached a firm conclusion yet. but i think simply saying, you don't have to do it is perhaps not a fully considered position, when it comes to recognizing the force of law that's here. >> let me go. there are skeptics about exactly how bad of an impact sequestration will have. there are those that say, it's 9% across every project or activity. how serious is this impact going to be? as you've war gamed this, and are there any particular programs, projects, or activities that it debilitates more than others? >> fundamentally, the answer to
your question depends on the implementation approach that's going to be taken. so what's going to be exempted? when you determine -- >> military personnel. >> the more things exempted, then the greater impact of the things that are not exempted. when we're thinking about the total magnitude, there's a range here. and you know, it's unsatisfying to say it depends, but it does. it depends on the decisions that need to be made around what's going to be exempted, and those decisions, ultimately will drive the magnitude of the impact. we like others in the industry are planning for that full range. >> thanks very much, sir. how america can help secure syria's arsenal of chemical, and other dangerous weapons.
yoo-hoo! mom? i hear you're having a tough day, so i brought you a freshly made sandwich. you made me a sandwich? no, dunkin' did. but i wrote the note. dunkin' bakery sandwiches are freshly made just for you. grab a turkey cheddar bacon sandwich today. america runs on dunkin'. as the fighting in syria intensifies, so too does concern about what happens to the country's arsenal, if the regime in damascus suddenly collapses. in a recent visit to washington, phillip hammond urged for a transfer of control to the country's chemical weapons. it's a familiar problem, after
the gadhafi regime fell, -- joining us today is assistant secretary of state for political and military affairs, andrew shapiro. security cooperations between the united states and more than 200 countries around the world. secretary shapiro, welcome to the show. >> thanks for having me. >> i've got to ask you, all the focus is on what happens to the pentagon. >> i think every cabinet will face significant cuts, and it will be very difficult to manage in an environment where se quest ration has occurred. that's why the administration has been encouraging congress to meet its obligation, and to avoid the damage that sequestration would employ. >> but you guys aren't going to
get out of it unharmed. >> no. >> let's go to syria. including shoulder fired missiles as we've seen. in libya, you guys were very effective in going out and trying to grab as many of these weapons to keep them from falling into other hands as much as possible. what are the lessons that are going to be applicable to syria? >> in libya, even while the fighting was going on, and the gadhafi regime was still in power, we were still talking to our partners, as well as neighboring countries about the potential impact of the proliferation of weapons. in syria, we're doing the same thing, we're engaged in contingency planning. talking to international partners about what the
implications of proliferation would be, and we're talking to neighboring countries as well. the important thing is that we are think being it. we are putting plans in place, and as events develop, we will be prepared to act as appropriate. >> what were some of the specific lessons from libya, that were applicable to make sure we do it better this time. >> i would argue that we moved pretty quickly in libya, as soon as the gadhafi regime was in trouble, and we had people in benghazi, people on the ground, working districtly with libyans as the regime was on the run, so we did move relatively quickly in libya, and if necessary, we're prepared to move quickly in syria, with our partners, as the situation develops. so we were developing those contingency plans to avoid the dangers that proliferation of both conventional weapons would pose. >> do you think at some point,
there would have to be foreign, or non-syrian personnel on the ground? >> it's too early to speculate about that. the situation on the ground in syria is fluid, it's changing day by day, and we're trying to prepare for all sorts of contingencies, to make sure these weapons don't proliferate outside of syria. >> let's go to expert controls and expert reform. in including arms exports also to u.s. allies, there have been a number of initiatives that you guys have launched. now three and a half, almost four years into this, what have been the concrete accomplishments, and what is still in the to do box? >> well, i think that in a era of budget constrained era, we're going to be relying on our partners to do more. and we want to be able to help our partners do more as part of our security cooperation efforts. one aspect of that will be asking them to work with us in
a variety of contingencies, and that working with us, using the same equipment. >> to pick up the burden, therefore making it easier for them to pick up some of the burden. >> exactly. and it's easier for them to work with us, if they buy into our systems. one thing we've seen in the barack obama administration is a greater willingness for countries to partner with us. we have seen military sales increase significantly. we're having a record breaking year on commercial sales. on non-commercial sales last year, we processed over 83,000 district commercial sales licenses. the most ever. there is a real appetite to purchase from the united states. and we make a decision on who we're going to partner with based on foreign policy concerns. we go and advocate to win those
tenders. >> go on. >> we also pursue expert control form. also through efforts to change the usml and the commerce control list to better reflect today's realities. to focus on protecting the things that it's important to protect. the so-called crown jewels. as a result of the efforts we're engaged in, we anticipate that 10s of thousands of parts and components will be moving from the u.s. munitions list to commerce control list. >> how soon do you think that will happen? that's been a concern for a few years. >> we've already published seven categories on the usml transfer to the ccl. i'm sorry, nine rules. seven rules completed interagency process, and five more rules that we're working on. we anticipate that we're going to be publishing final rules in
the fall to begin the process of transferring items. >> those are the two lists. one is for military items. under the current system, one of the things you've been pushing for is a change in the congressional notification process. the state has to notify congress in four different instances in a potential sale to allow a lawmaker to disagree with that proposed sale, effectively to stop it. you've argued that it should be streamlined, but there's been a backlash even from veteran members of congress. why is it so important to notify of the process, as a former hill staffer yourself. what's the case to modify the system? >> first, let me be clear. the law requires 30 day notifications. we're not proposing any changes to the code of law. the process for congressional consultation, we want to
identify where, what those sales are, where members may have concerns, and for the least controversial sales, we're seeing, we'll say give in 20 days, let us know if you've got a problem. if not, we'd like to move ahead. for the more complicated sales, we're seeing 40 days. and then let us know if there's a problem. and the goal is, is to have where we identify the sales that have problems so we can address those concerns, and the sales that don't have problems, they should move ahead. our goal is to have more certainty, to allow industry to have more certainty. to allow our partners to have more certainty, but also to figure out what are congress's true concerns. if a member picks up the phone, and calls the state department, we're not going to move forward with that sale. we don't want to have resolution test the congress. but at the same time, we don't want the process to continue indefinitely.
so we want to have a greater sense of what sales are problematic, in order to be able to address those concerns, and we value congressional input. they often point out issues that are important that give us an opportunity to engage, and think about the right way they were coming. we knew it. there's only so much you can do to prepare for an all-out assault like that. we hunkered down, we braced ourselves...
we're back with andrew shapiro. the assistant secretary of state for military affairs. it is a time for austerity. the united states does want to build partnerships around the world, so everybody can work collectively to address global stability, or to keep the world as stable as possible. but there is a sense out there, that the united states is not in this for the long haul, that it's under financial pressure. you go around the world and meet with these countries. what are they asking you, and what are you telling them? >> i think that we are making
the case around the world that the united states will continue to be engaged. that we will continue to pursue our interests. that we will continue to be a global power. and whether it be in asia, or the middle east, or elsewhere, that's the same message that we're delivering, and we have been demonstrating that both through our actions, and our public statements. we are demonstrating our willingness to partner. we're providing assistance. providing arm sales to our partners, and this is part of our efforts to demonstrate that the united states is going to continue to be a global power. >> let me take you to republican presidential candidate mitt romney, took him to israel, and to poland, during which he did take the opportunity to criticize the nation's policies, particularly to those countries. you are a key player in the relationship with all of these
countries. how would you respond to this? >> i would not get into the political season. i will say that the u.s./israel security cooperation under the obama administration has never been better. prime minister netanyahu has described the relationship as unprecedented, and just recently, the defense minister talked about the compromise of the relationship. the discussions in conversations with the israelis vebeen closer. >> for military funds. >> for military financing, than we've asked for the most ever. the administration on top of that military financing, pried money for iran dome, missile defense, rocket system that is protecting israeli lives. in terms of the u.s. israeli cooperation relationship, in my view it's the best it's ever been. i think our relationship with
the u.k. and poland has both been strong. we have had great success in working with the u.k. in afghanistan, and libya, and elsewhere. in poland, we continue to have a strong relationship as we address the challenges of afghanistan and elsewhere. and we have been pleased with the success of our efforts with both countries. >> in the 30 or so seconds we've got left, what about fast track for arms sales to india? what's the state role in that initiative. >> we are working very closely with the partner of defense and we anticipate the relationship is going to blossom. we have an on opportunity to double that over the next few years. we think that it's a real opportunity for the united
>> pentagon and industry leaders are doing their best to turn up the heat on lawmakers to avoid automatic defense cuts they say will devastate u.s. national security. unless congress strikes a broader deficit reduction deal by january 2nd, dod will lose another $500 billion over the coming decade. the aerospace industries association claims that could cost some 2 million jobsthatdod industry are exaggerating and that the impact won't be that bad. gauging the exact consequences of these looming and thoughtless cuts is impossible. but we know they won't be good. it's time for democrats and republicans to compromise. the nation's debt needs to be brought under control but sequestration isn't the answer. what's needed is a comprehensive deal that raises
the nation's debt limit while cutting spending, reforming entitlements and raising revenue. whatever plan is adopted can't be so extreme as to cause other problems like stalling the economy again or draining from future investment. it won't be easy but that's what's governing is all about. sequestration wasn't expected to happen, rather serve as a draconian mechanism to force compromise. not only have they failed to reach a deal, they just left town for a five-week vacation. but you can help force them into action. write your lawmakers and tell them to compromise to avoid sequestration. to find out how visit www.usa.gov and click on the contact government tab. thanks for joining us for "this week in defense news." week in defense news." i'll be back next week at the k. no way out. my usualt ransport was nowhere to be found.
i knew, then and there, that i needed wheels asap. thats alpha, sierra, alpha...pickle. ahem! sis here's in the military, so i can join navy federal too. he's getting a great rate - so now he can drive himself to laser tag. it's a real sport. no, its not. 4 million members. 4 million stories. navy federal credit union.